March 12, 2007

California city promoting natural gas Hondas with tax credits

Vacaville, California – The city of Vacaville, California has announced new incentive programs to promote the sale of Honda Civic GX natural gas vehicles. The city has set a goal of 100 of the alternative-fuel Hondas on the road; so far, 46 have been registered. Previously, thanks in part to its financial incentives on the leases of GM EV1 cars, the city had the most number of electric vehicles per capita in the U.S.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has recognized the Civic GX as “the cleanest internal-combustion vehicle on Earth”. The Vacaville city credit of $6,800 and a $1,000 dealer credit mean that the Honda GX can be purchased for about $17,000, instead of its usual price of about $25,000 (all prices U.S.). The car also qualifies for a $4,000 federal tax credit. In addition, the city allows GX drivers to use high occupancy vehicle lanes regardless of the number of passengers, and free trips across the region’s bridges during commute hours.

Owners of the vehicles can fill them at over 30 public stations in North California, including one in Vacaville, for around $2 a gallon. The vehicles can also be fuelled at home once a filling station is installed; with incentives, the “at-home” price is the equivalent to about $1.25. Gasoline currently sells for around $3 per gallon in the area. Vacaville offers a $2,000 incentive on the purchase and installation of the filling appliance, along with a $1,000 tax credit.

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